By prioritizing rhythm over hooks, by turning away from looped vocal samples and toward a starker, more tensile vocabulary of snares and strings, Dark Energy immediately sounds like a benchmark, an outlier in terms of minimalist abstraction and intensity.
Age of Transparency is heady and dizzying, even more unpleasant than Anxiety at times, but it’s keyed in to the zeitgeist in a way that feels genuine, constructive even.
With Piteous Gate, you hear an artist becoming strong to themselves, not as a strong icon or representation, but as a capable force across industrialized identities, one who extracts dances from the cosmos.
COIN COIN Chapter Three: river run thee is infinite and indispensable in its cultural worth and true-ly timeless and comprehensive in its scope. A masterwork of human history, still in progress.
Sometimes you have a dream and it’s not bad. It’s not wish-fulfillment, but you feel more alive for having had it. The memory of the dream’s worth nothing, but you’ll chase the feeling all day. This album is a lot like that.
As last year’s attention-grabbing Adhesive EP intimated, the new Container is a richly rhythmic powerhouse of gleeful propulsion. The beats trump everything, including the tones that are so overdriven they might as well be more beats.
Divers is, to greatly oversimplify its project and to mention only one of its many mythic frames of reference, about the fall and redemption of humanity. That divine catastrophe is scaled down to the commonly human quantity of the sensible work of art, rich in emotional honesty and poetic complexity.
With If You’re Reading This, there is union between his effort to “mythologically aggrandize” himself and to relieve creative pressure by half-redundantly (and “meaningfully”) delivering what people what: Drake content, Drake lyrics, Drake beats… a Drake album.
Underlying To Pimp a Butterfly’s system of contradictions is a narrative of hope against the brutality of the systematic destruction of the unity of the culture, the murderous cops and the drug wars — that hope is in the possibilities of consciousness, that ever elusive revolutionary power that makes us all rulers of this world.